Elon Musk’s X finally agrees to try and settle Twitter’s mass layoffs lawsuit

‘We have succeeded in getting Twitter to the table,’ lawyer says in memo

Vishwam Sankaran
Friday 15 September 2023 08:40 BST

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Elon Musk’s X has agreed to attempt to settle a lawsuit by former employees who say the company cheated them of severance pay following mass layoffs.

After taking over Twitter, which he rebranded X recently, Mr Musk cut nearly two-thirds of the social media company’s workforce from about 8000 to 2,000, claiming he had “no choice” as the company was losing $4m per day.

“Everyone exited was offered 3 months of severance, which is 50 per cent more than legally required,” Mr Musk said. Many laid-off employees, however, publicly announced they never got the severance they were due to get.

In the months that followed, the company was hit by several lawsuits, including one alleging the layoffs disproportionately targeted women.

Now, months after urging Twitter, the company has agreed to try and settle, according to a memo sent by Shannon Liss-Riordan, who represents the laid-off workers.

The labour and civil rights attorney, representing nearly 2,000 ex-employees, said X would attempt to settle with the laid-off staff.

“After 10 months of pressing them in every direction we have succeeded in getting Twitter to the table,” she wrote in the memo cited by Bloomberg.

Further schedule for the mediation remains unclear, but reports suggest negotiations could happen on 1 and 2 December.

X did not immediately respond to The Independent’s request for comment.

Some ex-employees have alleged Twitter did not pay them promised severance either.

One employee said earlier this year that he had “never even seen a severance letter let alone been offered severance”.

While some former staff attempted to resolve the issue by first filing a class-action lawsuit against X, their contracts with Twitter, however, required that disputes be resolved via arbitration.

“We are very proud to be representing nearly 2,000 former Twitter employees, in individual arbitrations as well as more than a dozen class action lawsuits in court,” Ms Liss-Riordan had earlier said in a statement, adding that lawyers and former staff were working to recover “what they are owed”.

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